Tooth Extractions

 Tooth extractions, or the removal of one or more teeth, are usually used as a last resort in dentistry, as keeping the natural tooth in the mouth is ideal. There are many reasons why single or multiple extractions may be performed, including pervasive tooth decay, the impaction of wisdom teeth, or the need to create space for orthodontic devices.

The most significant short-term benefit associated with tooth extraction is the elimination of pain. If a tooth is severely decayed or an infection is present, removing the affected tooth almost immediately alleviates discomfort. However, it should be noted that further procedures are necessary to replace the extracted tooth. Leaving a gap is not a viable option as the other teeth tend to twist out of alignment to fill the space.

Why might I need to have a tooth extraction?

Tooth extractions are incredibly common procedures. It should be reiterated that an extraction is used as a procedure of last resort, when nothing more can be done to save the tooth.

Here is a brief overview of some of the main reasons for tooth extraction:

Deep decay – This is easily the most common reason for tooth extraction, accounting for around two-thirds of all extraction procedures performed. When decay affects the surface of the tooth as well as the pulp, root canal procedures cannot be performed. Root canal therapy is only viable where the general structure of the tooth is in stable condition.

Extra teeth –There are a variety of explanations associated with extra teeth, but most commonly they are baby teeth that do not shed. Extra teeth take up space on the arch, causing nearby teeth to twist out of place. A tooth extraction is necessary in this case to provide enough space for the teeth to properly realign.

Periodontal disease – Often teeth have to be extracted because the gums and underlying bone are so severely eroded that they can no longer hold the tooth in place securely. The cause of bone and gum recession is almost always advanced periodontal disease (gum disease). Poor bone density means that the chance of restoring the natural tooth is minimal.

Prior to braces – Traditional orthodontic braces require enough space to for the teeth to move into ideal alignment. If space cannot be created naturally, a tooth may be extracted as an alternative.

Fractured teeth – Fortunately, dentists are able to save injured teeth in most circumstances with the aid of root canal therapy. However, there are some instances where the tooth has become fractured in a way that makes repair impossible. Your oral health professional will remove the tooth and use a prosthetic replacement in most cases.

 Wisdom teeth Removing wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, is a common dental procedure that is often recommended for various reasons. While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, there are several benefits associated with their extraction, particularly when certain issues or potential complications arise.

Here are some of the main benefits of removing wisdom teeth: 

Prevention of Impacted Teeth: Wisdom teeth often don't have enough space to fully erupt properly in many individuals' mouths. As a result, they can become impacted, meaning they are unable to emerge from the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and even lead to infections or cysts. 

Reduced Risk of Infection: Partially erupted wisdom teeth can create pockets between the teeth and gums, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria and lead to infection (pericoronitis). 

Prevention of Crowding: Wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent teeth as they attempt to come in. This pressure may lead to crowding or shifting of other teeth, compromising the alignment of your smile. Removing wisdom teeth can prevent potential orthodontic problems.

Gum Health: Wisdom teeth that don't erupt properly can be difficult to clean effectively. This can contribute to gum inflammation, infection, and periodontal disease. Removing these teeth can help maintain better gum health on adjacent teeth. 

Easier Oral Hygiene: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them harder to clean properly. Their removal can simplify oral hygiene routines and reduce the risk of cavities and gum problems.

Pain and Discomfort Relief: Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and jaw stiffness. Removing them can provide relief from these symptoms.

Reduced Risk of Cysts or Tumors: Wisdom teeth that remain impacted can sometimes develop cysts or tumors. While these occurrences are relatively rare, removing the wisdom teeth can eliminate the risk.

Orthodontic Considerations: For individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment, removing wisdom teeth can help prevent any unwanted changes in tooth alignment caused by the pressure of erupting wisdom teeth.

Improved Oral Health: Overall, removing problematic wisdom teeth can contribute to better oral health by preventing potential complications and maintaining the integrity of your smile.

It's important to note that not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Some people have sufficient space in their mouths to accommodate these teeth without causing issues. Your dentist or oral surgeon will assess your specific situation through clinical examination and possibly X-rays to determine whether removing your wisdom teeth is recommended.

If your dentist recommends wisdom teeth removal, it's a good idea to follow their advice to prevent potential future complications and maintain your oral health. They will discuss the procedure, post-operative care, and any concerns you may have.